September People's Armed Uprising of 1944

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

September People’s Armed Uprising of 1944


(also Uprising of September 9), in Bulgaria, an antifascist uprising that overthrew the monarcho-fascist dictatorship and ushered in the socialist revolution in Bulgaria.

Led by the Bulgarian Workers’ Party (BWP), as the Bulgarian Communist Party was then known, the September People’s Armed Uprising of 1944 took place as the international situation, owing to the victories of the Soviet Army over the fascist German forces, had reached a turning point and as the revolutionary crisis in Bulgaria itself had come to a head. The creation—under the leadership of the BWP—of the Fatherland Front in 1942 and the Insurgent Army of National Liberation in 1943 contributed immeasurably to the success of the uprising. The foundations of the monarcho-fascist regime were finally shattered by the Soviet Army’s rout of the Hitlerites’ main forces in Rumania in August 1944 and its rapid advance to the borders of Bulgaria, by discontent in the Bulgarian Army, by the growing antifascist mood and growing contradictions within the country as a result of the lordly behavior of the Nazis and their monarcho-fascist agents, and by the upsurge in the partisan movement, which by late August had grown to encompass one national liberation division, nine partisan brigades, 37 partisan detachments, and numerous combat groups—about 30,000 persons in all.

At the end of August 1944, the Central Committee of the BWP and the general staff of the Insurgent Army of National Liberation began making direct preparations for the uprising. On September 5, at a meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the BWP, the uprising was set for September 9 and a plan of action was drawn up. On September 6, the Central Committee of the BWP called the Bulgarian people to the decisive struggle against the fascist dictatorship. On September 6 and 7, mass demonstrations and strikes broke out in Sofia, Per-nik, Plovdiv, Gabrovo, Varna, Sliven, and elsewhere. The toiling people’s demonstrations were followed by the release of political prisoners. Partisan detachments came down from the mountains and occupied entire regions, in which they established the power of the Fatherland Front. In Sofia the party won over several units of the city’s garrison.

The Bulgarian rulers thereupon attempted to split the forces of the Fatherland Front and to reach a secret capitulation agreement with the ruling circles of the USA and Great Britain. On September 5, however, the Soviet government declared war on the monarcho-fascist government of Bulgaria and thus paralyzed the reactionary forces. On Setember 8, the Soviet Army entered Bulgarian territory. The revolutionary forces delivered the decisive blow on the night of September 8, when insurgent military units, partisan detachments, and workers’ combat groups seized the most strategic points in Sofia and overthrew the fascist government. At 6:25 A.M. on September 9, the formation of the Fatherland Front government was announced over the radio. At the same time, power in the provinces passed to committees of the Fatherland Front without serious resistance from the demoralized fascist forces.


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Petrov, S. BKP v bor’be protiv monarkho-fashizma (1941–1944 gg.). Moscow, 1973. (Translated from Bulgarian.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.